Central Asian Music on the Web
My main interest is in Kazakh, Uzbek, and Karakalpak music, since those
are the people and languages I've been most exposed to in Central Asia.
This list is focused on vocal music, since one of my reasons for searching
out this music is language learning / maintenance.
Please note that this page is infrequently updated. If you notice broken links and wish to
see them fixed, please let me know.
For those interested in Central Asian music, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has asked for the following release to be publicized:
Smithsonian Folkways and the Aga Khan Music Initiative are excited to announce the March 30th release
of Volumes 7-9 of the unprecedented, comprehensive, and GRAMMY-nominated
"Music of Central Asia" series.
Coordinated with the releases is a series of concerts, including a performance with the Kronos Quartet
at the Carnegie Hall in New York on March 14th.
Details on each CD/DVD release:
- Volume 7: In the Shrine of the Heart: Popular Classics from Bukhara and Beyond brings sophisticated
urban song traditions of Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Qoqand, and Khiva, alive in superbly recorded new performances.
- Volume 8: Rainbow: Kronos Quartet with Alim and Fargana Qasimov and Homayun Sakhi presents two
bold collaborations: the Kronos Quartet, America's premier new-music quartet, with renowned rubāb player
Homayun Sakhi for half of the album and with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble for the other half.
Each of these collaborations reaches across continents and cultures, and across musical categories and conventions.
- Volume 9: In the Footsteps of Babur: Musical Encounters from the Lands of the Mughals
is an exploration of the common ground of musical styles, sensibilities and instruments from Central Asia,
Afghanistan and North India, reflecting the artistic synthesis characteristic of both the Mughal Empire
and today's globalized world.
For more information on these releases, please visit
They also have a Facebook fan page where you can get connected.
I plan to review these recordings soon.
Kazakh (Qazaq) Music
- Show-KZ Arena - site with good connection where songs of several pop groups can be downloaded.
- Urker 'Kazakh pop-folk group' official group web site. One of my favorite Kazakh groups. Site has online lyrics, which is very helpful! They are in Word doc form and you need the "Times/Kazakh" font supplied on the web site. Connection is good (steady at 5.2KB/sec transfer rate).
- Qazaq a'enderi - many Kazakh language mp3's (currently 328!). Unfortunately connection may be slow (24hrs to download an mp3?!).
- kazakh_music - ftp site with several dozen well-labeled mp3's, including a "folk" subdirectory.
- Kazakh Music - links to several Kazakh Music sites; this is a site from which I got several of these Kazakh music links.
- Rakhat - a 19-year-old Kazakh pop singer. Has a few Kazakh-language songs in mp3 format, with lyrics too!
- "Kalka" - a traditional dombra/vocal solo (format: .ram) on Music from Russia and the Former USSR States.
- Kazakh Music - "classical" vocal solos with western orchestral accompaniment. Format: rm. Connection sometimes poor.
- Music in the Afghan North - Audio/video clip of a Kazakh woman playing dombra. Format: .mov.
- Awil Aweni - Kazakh-Chinese site (no English). Music last updated 2001. Format: downloadable rm. Not greatest quality. Live concerts.
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Karakalpak (Qaraqalpaq) Music
- To my knowledge, very little is available on the web!
Please tell me if you hear of some.
(I hope to upload some before too long.)
- New April 2009: Karakalpak music stars: News and mp3s
- Karakalpak Music from Berdak
22 songs available, but site is slow! So I've uploaded some to
Also, I am pleased to be able to mirror Bayimbetov's web page and music files here on our site,
with his permission, for quicker download. Rahmet, Berdak!
New Sept. 2004: Berdak has updated
his site with many more songs, and also has a link to the following site.
- nukus.minidns.net/qqmusic has
quite a few songs available for download, and excellent response time!
Don't miss the subfolders for various artists, or the music videos.
- mp3uz.com - has many good Uzbek-language songs in mp3. Great response time. Also some videos.
- Uzbek Music Dessert - has many good Uzbek-language songs in mp3, but seems not to have been updated since Oct. 2001.
- ArbUz.com Music - seems to have taken over from
Uzbek Music Dessert. Claims to be the biggest collection of Uzbek music on the Internet.
Lots of mp3s.
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OK, Kalmykia isn't in Central Asia, but Kalmyk music is akin to C-A music in
many ways. And we have some favorites.
- "Mama" - a song by Arkady Mandjiev, a popular and talented Kalmyk
singer (and friend-of-a-friend of Kathy's). We recommend his CD,
- "Nudlya" - another song by Mandjiev. Nudlya is a Kalmyk girl's name.
- "Nutg" - another by Mandjiev. (Pronounced /noo-T:G/, where ':' is a very short schwa.)
- "Anthology of
Kalmyk folklore" - seems to be a Kalmyk folk tale about a cow
being sung by an elderly woman.
- Okna Tsahan Zam, a.k.a. Vladimir Karuev (interview) is a
Kalmyk "throat singer" and dombra player.
Here is a performance video of Edjin Duun,
his take on a Kalmyk folksong.
Thanks to the Flags
Of The World web site for the flag images, by Mark Sensen (first three) and António Martins.
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